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University of Massachusetts Amherst. Black Pioneers Project

Black Pioneers Project Records

2018-2019
0.1 linear feet
Call no.: RG 050/9
UMass Black Pioneer T-Shirt logo
UMass Amherst Black Pioneers T-Shirt logo, 2016

Moved to action after a successful and illuminating 2016 reunion of Black alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, alumna Dr. Cheryl L. Evans (1968) decided to take on the critical project identified by the group, collecting and documenting the stories of the Black alumni who attended the University between 1960 and 1970. Dubbing these students “Black Pioneers,” given the dearth, and then growth, of Black students on campus during the decade, Evans used her connections with alumni and her history as a Black student leader to reach out about recording experiences for preservation and research purposes. In collaboration with Special Collections and University Archives, Evans began the “UMass Black Pioneers Project,” and sent an online questionnaire to around 85 alumni in September 2018. The survey addresses alumni’s backgrounds, academic and social experiences on campus, occasions of racial discrimination and activism, and current perceptions of the University and advice for students. Participation was voluntary, and is ongoing.

The UMass Black Pioneers Project Records contain some planning materials and correspondence for the project, and primarily consist of written answers made in response to the “UMass Black Pioneers Survey.” In addition to the questionnaire, participants were able to send in physical materials, or upload digital content, such as resumes, or videos of their responses, and the collection contains a few of these. Several participants willing to be interviewed were also connected with UMass Public History graduate students for oral histories in the Fall 2018 semester. These videos are a part of the record group, and there are plans to conduct additional interviews.

Aquired with the assistance of Cheryl L. Evans, 2018

Subjects

African American college students--MassachusettsRacism in educationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--AlumniUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--Students

Types of material

Oral historiesQuestionnaires
Wheeler, William

William Wheeler Papers

1876-1930
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 002/3 W54
Depiction of William Wheeler, ca.1876
William Wheeler, ca.1876

The civil engineer William Wheeler was a member of the first graduating class of Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1871, and was one of its most prominent alumni of the nineteenth century. In 1876, Wheeler joined MAC President William Smith Clark and two other alumni of the college in helping to found the Sapporo Agricultural College in Japan (now Hokkaido University), succeeding Clark as president of SAP from 1877 to 1879. In later life, he was a successful hydraulic engineer and long-time trustee of MAC (1887-1929).

A small, tightly focused collection, the Wheeler Papers consist largely of letters written home by Wheeler while working at the Sapporo Agricultural College, 1876-1880. Typically long and descriptive, the letters include excellent accounts of travel in Japan and Wheeler’s impressions of Japanese culture, but they provide detailed insight as well into the work involved in establishing Sapporo Agricultural College.

Subjects

Agriculture--JapanClark, William Smith, 1826-1886Hokkaido (Japan)--Description and travel--19th centuryHokkaido DaigakuJapan--Description and travel--19th centuryMassachusetts Agricultural CollegePenhallow, D. P. (David Pearce), 1854-1910Sapporo (Japan)--Description and travel--19th century

Contributors

Hudson, WoodwardWheeler, William, 1851-1932

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)
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